Curb Painted Red While Car Parked: Couple Then Get Parking Ticket

What would you do if you had parked your cars at the same curb for 25 years, then one day, the city paints the curb red? And when you fetch your car the next day, you have a ticket for parking in a no-parking zone? It happened to Desiree and Jeff Jolly, who has called San Francisco home for decades. 

Living in the Russian Hill part of the city means hunting for parking is mandatory. But one spot has been the couple’s choice spot for decades. “Well yeah, anytime it’s open I have been parking here for 25 years,” Jolly told Eyewitness News Chicago. But then this happened.

How much is the parking ticket for?

No parking
No parking zones | Getty

“We came out and we were walking up from the store, and I noticed the ticket on my car,” Desiree said. There it was, a $180 ticket for parking in a red zone, a red zone that didn’t exist the previous day. “The red stripe is there, where it wasn’t before, and they had the nerve to just to go around my tire.” Yes, just to add insult to injury, the city workers painted her Honda’s tire red and left a bare patch of the curb where the tire was.

The irony is that Jeff is a painter himself. “I saw that and I even have painter friends who say what a bad job that was. They missed a spot,” he said. “If it was warranted I don’t have a problem with it, but this seems unfair to me,” says Desiree.

Unpainted curb
Unpainted red zone | SFMTA

When the news station contacted the San Francisco Municipal Transit Authority, it confirmed the ticket is for parking in a red zone violation. But the spokesperson says it was a red zone all along. The SFMTA just hadn’t repainted it over the last several decades. Obviously, the paint had chipped away or faded in that time. 

Does the couple have proof of the curb being unpainted?

parking
Parking ticket blues | SFMTA/Google Maps

SFMTA provided an image before the repaint of the curb in question. If you look real hard, you can see a sprinkle of faded red. It also showed its service request to paint the curb red. But looking at Google Maps images from both 2016 and 2021, it looks like an unpainted curb. It really seems like the Jollys have a case for dismissing the ticket.

SFMTA says that a citations clerk will have to decide if it should be paid or not. The determination can take up to two months. But Jeff and Desiree have a larger plan.

Jeff recently had a catalytic converter stolen from his car. So this is yet, another issue he must deal with. “We do want to leave because of all of this stuff that goes on in the city,” he said. The couple’s next move is leaving San Francisco for France. Let’s hope there aren’t any hidden issues there that might give them regrets about moving from Fog City. 

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